Music Video of the Day: I Forgive It All By Mudcrutch (2016, directed by Sean Penn and Samuel Bayer)

This was one of Tom Petty’s final songs and it’s also one of his best.  This somber song features Petty looking back on his own past and forgiving his father, with whom he had a difficult relationship while he was growing up.

The video was shot on location in Los Angeles and simply features a man driving while thinking about the past.  Of course, in the video, that man is played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, who grew up not in Los Angeles but in Wales.  However, Hopkins has spoken of having a similarly difficult childhood to Petty’s.

This video was directed by actor Sean Penn, who was a friend of Petty’s, and Samuel Bayer.  Bayer has directed several music videos but will probably always be best known for directing Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.


Music Video of the Day: You Don’t Know How It Feels by Tom Petty (1994, directed by Phil Joanu)

Believe it or not, this song was considered to be controversial when it was first released.  Even in 1994, there were apparently people shocked to discover that some musicians not only smoked weed but openly admitted it.  The song actually played on some radio stations with the words “roll’ and “joint” blanked out.  On MTV, the lyric was changed to “let’s hit another joint.”  I’m not sure how “let’s hit another joint” is somehow less pro-weed than “let’s roll another joint.”

This video was directed by Phil Joanou, who also did several videos for U2 and who directed the cult classic, Three O’Clock High.  The woman in the video is Raven Snow, who is apparently best known for appearing in several episodes of Red Shoe Diaries.  Remember Red Shoe Diaries?

I miss Tom Petty.  Don’t we all?

Music Video Of The Day: American Girl by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1980, directed by ????)

“I wrote that in a little apartment I had in Encino. It was right next to the freeway and the cars sometimes sounded like waves from the ocean, which is why there’s the line about the waves crashing on the beach. The words just came tumbling out very quickly – and it was the start of writing about people who are longing for something else in life, something better than they have.”

— Tom Petty on American Girl

Because it’s the 4th of July, I wanted to share the music video for Tom Petty’s American Girl but it turns out that there never was an official video for American Girl.  The song came out before the launch of MTV and, strangely enough, it was never as big a hit in the United States than it was in the UK.

I was, however, able to find footage of Tom Petty performing the song on FridaysFridays was a rip-off of Saturday Night Live.  It aired live with a regular ensemble and it also featured a weekly musical guest.  The only real difference between it and SNL was that Fridays aired on …. you guessed it, Friday night.  It never escaped the shadow of Saturday Night Live, though it did receive some attention when guest host Andy Kaufman got into an on-air brawl with Michael Richards.  (Apparently, it was a staged fight though, as was often the case with Kaufman, few people realized it.)  Today, Fridays is best known for featuring several performers — Richards, Larry David, Bruce Mahler, and others — who were later appeared on Seinfeld.

This performance above is from the June 6th, 1980 episode of Fridays.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed Shadow of a Doubt and American Girl on the episode.  According to Wikipedia, that episode also featured sketches with names like “Johannes the Friday’s Parakeet Needs Marijuana Seeds” and “Prostitution Debate with Pastor Babbitt.”

American Girl, incidentally, was originally recorded on July 4th, 1976.  Today is its 44th birthday.


Follow That Dream: RIP Tom Petty

cracked rear viewer

In an era of throbbing disco beats, ponderous prog rock, and angry loud punk,   Tom Petty’s rootsy, guitar-jangling sound was like a breath of fresh air blowing through the late 70’s radio airwaves. Petty was a Southern boy, but didn’t fit the ‘Southern Rock’ mode of the Allman Brothers or Marshall Tucker. Instead, he and his band The Heartbreakers were influenced by the stylings of The Beatles and The Byrds, crafting tight-knit pop tunes for the ages.

The Florida-born Petty was an artsy type of kid, an outsider in a world of machismo. He met his idol Elvis Presley when The King was making the 1961 film FOLLOW THAT DREAM on location, and three years later, when The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, Tom knew what he wanted to do with his life. By age 17, he’d dropped out of high school, and three years later started Mudcrutch, a…

View original post 315 more words

R.I.P., Tom Petty

Words fail me right now.

Rest in peace, Tom Petty.

Thank you for the music.

Update, 4:39 pm — Now, CBS, which was the first outlet to report that Tom Petty had died, have backtracked their report.  He’s on life support but apparently, he’s still hanging on.  

4:44 pm — The LAPD has apologized for “inadvertently providing false information.”

12:25 am — Sadly, Tom Petty’s passing has now been confirmed.